New restrictions could prevent Lee-on-the-Solent's 'special character' from being ruined by developers

BARRIERS have been created to prevent developers from building in Lee-on-the-Solent, after the council voted to grant the area further legal protection.

Friday, 5th July 2019, 6:24 pm
Updated Monday, 8th July 2019, 7:17 pm
Lee-on-the-Solent. Picture: Brenda Brooker

Last week, Gosport Borough Council members unanimously decided to implement a supplementary planning document for the Lee West ward.

Naming the land as an area of special character, the planning document provides more stringent guidelines on what sort of developments will be given the green light in the future, even down to the materials that can be used for new buildings.

It is hoped that this will preserve the historic look and feel of Lee-on-the-Solent, maintaining its current form for the years to come.

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Ward councillor for Lee East, Cllr Graham Burgess, spoke highly of the new restrictions, after standing in for Cllr Chris Carter for the meeting.

‘It means people can’t buy a couple of houses, knock them down and build flats in their place,’ he said.

'Lee-on-the-Solent is a place that is unique in the sense of its buildings and its character.

‘We have things like the French market which comes twice a year and the upcoming splash park, which really helps to build the atmosphere of the area.’

In short, the design overview outlined by the document highlights the importance of grass verges on the pavement, bordered front and back gardens and the retaining of trees along the streets

Chairman of the economic development board, Cllr Stephen Philpott, claimed this document was a crucial addition to the town’s current local plan, protecting the area from plans that don’t fit in with Lee-on-the-Solent’s look.

He said that local plans are often ‘not detailed enough’ for councils to defend against undesirable planning applications, and believes that this additional document will preserve points of interest in Lee-on-the-Solent.

Cllr June Cully added: ‘I really appreciate the work that has gone into this document.

‘Knowing how green-minded a lot of residents in Lee are, I hope we will be able to encourage the protection of green spaces and provide more in the future.

‘But overall I think this will be a good way of protecting Lee-on-the-Solent’s special character.’